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11 Jul 2022

1st Choice wins back time thanks to SmartTask

SmartTask Stand: D3
1st Choice wins back time thanks to SmartTask

Benefits at a glance

  • Significant time saved on check calls – 5 hours on a typical 8 hour night-shift
  • Ease of use, flexibility and configurability
  • Security guards trust SmartTask to check in and check out, communicate the progress of their site patrols and manage their holidays in real-time and on the move
  • Electronic forms log all site patrols and DOV vehicle checks
  • Single repository for critical security guard documentation ensures compliance with important government certification such as SIA status
  • One single integrated system provides clarity for the Control Room on all operations
  • Success of SmartTask implementation kickstarts expansion to other parts of the organisation.

Based near Heathrow, London, 1st Choice Facilities Services Limited (FCFS Ltd) is one of the UK’s fastest growing workplace service providers with several 100 clients, nearly 5,000 successfully completed projects and customer satisfaction ratings of 100%.   It offers everything organisations need for their properties and buildings; from interior design and fit out to security, cleaning and maintenance services. 

Time to go digital
When the company’s Security Division discovered that many Control Room staff were spending most of their time doing check calls, they turned to SmartTask in December 2021.  Ease of use combined with high levels of configurability across a single, integrated platform made SmartTask’s automated mobile workforce technology the perfect choice.  Since then, 5 controllers, more than 40 security guards and sub-contractors rely on SmartTask to free up valuable time, ensuring their customers’ premises are properly protected at all times. 

Automated check calls save 40 minutes every hour 
For Control Room operators before the introduction of SmartTask, carrying out a full range of duties to support security guards while meeting customer service levels was a fine balancing act.  For instance, a round of check calls during a night shift took around 40 minutes.  Each round was conducted manually every hour and sometimes every half-hour leaving only 20 minutes for other tasks.  Thanks to SmartTask, checks calls are now fully automated resulting in significant time savings.  Today, daytime check calls take just five minutes a round allowing controllers to focus on other activities such as monitoring CCTV installations.

Security guards have greater control over patrols and their lives 

All security guards have the SmartTask mobile app while many of the sub-contractors benefit from SmartTask’s automated IVR system. New check calls are triggered automatically so security guards simply acknowledge and complete them whilst out on patrol.  They can also check in and out of buildings and even manage their holidays using their mobile devices. 

Enhanced duty of care through better schedule management
Before SmartTask, controllers might only find out that shifts were not filled or security guards were missing when a customer called in to say ‘we’ve no guard on site’.  With so much time saved due to the automated check calls, controllers now have more resource to check  schedules and proactively avoid potential health and safety issues.  For example, fatigue caused by double shifts when security guards inadvertently finish one shift then immediately start another. 

1st Choice is maximising SmartTask’s exceptional integration and reporting capabilities.  The system links seamlessly to the company’s payroll system into which controllers can accurately feed the number of hours security guards and sub-contractors work so everyone is paid the right amount and on time. 

GPS tracking keeps guards safe and customers happy
SmartTask’s GPS tracking functionality is a real bonus for monitoring building patrols.  Control Room staff can see exactly when security guards check in and check out and where they are without having to call them.  1st Choice has introduced a system whereby security guards use NFC tags which they scan with their phones to let the Control Room know that they have completed crucial stages of their patrol with each stage automatically timed and dated for a useful audit trail.  This tracking ability flags up if part of a building has been missed and when combined with alerts should there be a missed check call, the system can indicate if a security guard may need assistance. 

Complete visibility with everything all in one place
1st Choice praises SmartTask for being a highly versatile ‘all-encompassing’ solution that eliminates the need for multiple systems and is easily tailored to meet their individual requirements, accommodating many different types of information and tasks.  The company has a complete view of operations from a single Control Room screen.  Meanwhile, customers can see what is happening on their premises with live access to the SmartTask system via a secure dedicated online portal. 

SmartForms transform compliance management

For 1st Choice, SmartTask’s electronic forms are a definite advantage, creating a central repository for essential documentation relating to site patrols and DOV vehicle checks.  Additionally, all security guard information such as HR files, training notes and a record of their qualifications and certificates are stored in SmartTask.  This is critical for ensuring staff are Security Industry Authority (SIA) approved and if anyone requires re-certification.  For example, an inbuilt countdown timer shows how many days are left on a guard’s licence.  Controllers simply enter the expiry date so if they put a guard down for a particular shift and their licence has lapsed, they will know immediately - a valuable addition that simply did not exist before SmartTask. 

 “SmartTask has saved huge amounts of time doing check calls which we now devote to proactively supporting our security staff and customers.  We had a lot of questions when setting up the system but the training and technical support we received were great.  The SmartTask team are very forthcoming, responsive and quick to help. So pleased are we with the initial implementation that word has got around and our colleagues in Contract Cleaning are looking to install SmartTask.” - Babs Willis, Control Room Manager, Security Division of 1st Choice Facilities Services Limited.

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